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Tree, Sir Herbert Beerbohm

Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree, 1853–1917, English actor-manager, whose original name was Herbert Draper Beerbohm. He was a half-brother of Max Beerbohm. His first success (1884) was as the curate in The Private Secretary, and he thereafter became prominent as a romantic actor. In 1883 he married the distinguished actress Helen Maud Holt, 1863–1937, who became his leading lady. She was a well-educated and very versatile actress, especially adept at comedy. Tree achieved his greatest distinction as a manager with his staging of Shakespeare at the Haymarket theater (1887–97) and at Her Majesty's Theatre, which he built and opened in 1897. In the manner of his day, he stressed visual elements with elaborate, imaginative, and detailed effects. He was knighted in 1909.

See his Thoughts and Afterthoughts (1913) and Nothing Matters (1917); biography by H. Pearson (1956, repr. 1971).

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